A South London Cult

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Benzodiazepines in Ireland: Are they over-prescribed? How you can take on Ryanair and get your money back. Pay review for Defence Forces following effective campaign. Most Read in News. According to Morgan-Davies, he immediately identified with the character of Aragorn, the long-lost heir to the throne of Gondor. But she drew her own conclusions about the texts. It sounds like Voldemort and Sauron. In , when Morgan-Davies was twenty-two, she made her first attempt at escape, slipping out the back door while Balakrishnan was taking one of his long baths and making her way to the local police station.

She told the reception officer that she had run away from home. The police, believing the problem to be little more than a family dispute, phoned Balakrishnan and told him to come and collect Morgan-Davies. When they followed up, a few days later, she was forced to take the call from the living room, as the eavesdropping commune stood in a semicircle around her.

Had she been a minor, Hall told me, the police might have asked more questions. The cult moved to a new apartment, three miles to the north. There, Morgan-Davies fell into a depression. The following August, however, the dynamics in the house changed. Morgan-Davies spied an opportunity, and began the three-year process of turning Herivel into an ally.


She started getting soft toward me, bit by bit. There was no chance of receiving medical treatment, because Balakrishnan forbade it; in , he had allowed another of his followers, Oh Kareng, to die of a head injury she sustained in the house rather than call her an ambulance. The women memorized it, and eventually made contact with the Palm Cove Society.

A few weeks later, Morgan-Davies and Herivel fled the house while Balakrishnan and his wife were out shopping. Hall and Stocks, who were waiting with a police officer in a parked car near the house, removed them to safety. Shame on you! They are victims as well, of course. Only one went to prison, but to my mind there should have been others.

My 30 years as prisoner of a London cult

They are alleged to have suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of Mr Balakrishnan, 73, and his wife Chanda, 67, who were arrested in Brixton last week. A former neighbour of the commune said last night that in the s and s the women often held notes up to the window, but that they were too faint to read. At the inquest, a coroner criticised the collective over the death of Sian Davies, 44, and expressed doubts that she would have opened a window on a cold Christmas Eve night and fallen to the street below. She died from her injuries after spending seven months in hospital.

Her family say that members of the commune falsely claimed to be her next of kin and withheld news of her death from them.

UK Maoist cult leader jailed for 23 years for raping followers

After the inquest, members of the commune reacted angrily when a television crew asked to speak to Mr Balakrishnan, the charismatic head of the group. She then retreated into the house with two older companions, one of whom is thought to be a year-old Malaysian woman who was also released last month, footage released by ITV News showed. She said Ms Herival called her and asked to meet to talk about Sian after the inquest was over.

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I never heard from her again. New details about the lives of those inside the commune emerged yesterday as police confirmed that they had yet to interview Josephine or the other two captives — one of whom was named in reports as Rosie Davies, a year-old Briton who spent her whole life with the group.

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Scotland Yard said the facts would not be established quickly, given that what happened in the house took place over three decades. Mr Balakrishnan, from Singapore, and his Tanzanian Marxist wife, who were arrested on suspicion of assault, false imprisonment and immigration offences, are on bail until January. Scotland Yard said part of the agreement when they were removed from the property in Brixton on 25 October was that officers would not attempt to interview them immediately. In , police raided the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre in Brixton, arresting 14 members of the organisation, including Mr Balakrishnan and his wife, on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.


House-to-house inquiries have been carried out in Peckford Place in Brixton, where the three women were found, one of 13 properties in London linked to the commune over the years. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Try Independent Minds free for 1 month to access this feature.

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UK Maoist cult leader jailed for 23 years for raping followers

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